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September 17, 2008

McClintock, Brown continue to clash

The battle over whether Democratic Congressional candidate Charlie Brown wore his military uniform at an anti-war protest three years ago is getting as much attention as the policy disagreements between the two candidates.

Brown, a Vietnam war veteran, is facing conservative state legislator Tom McClintock in the race to succeed retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.)

McClintock launched a new television ad showing footage of Brown in military fatigues while attending the 2005 protest. And at a McClintock press conference highlighting these charges, tensions ran high.

More, from PolitickerCA:

A press conference on congressional candidate Charlie Brown's actions in 2005 at the home of an anti-war display nearly descended into conflict itself, with disruptions before, during and after the event and a near-appearance by police officers.

The campaign for State Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) had staged the press conference to show a video of Brown, in military uniform, at a Sacramento home in 2005 where the owners had hung a dummy dressed as a soldier in effigy as a protest against the Iraq war.

The video, which is also being used in a 30-second TV commercial, was meant to debunk Brown's assertions that he was at the home in a camouflage jacket, not his uniform his from his days as a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel.

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But before the event even began, a handful of Brown supporters - accompanied by Brown's campaign manager, Todd Stenhouse - were asked to leave so that they wouldn't cause a disruption.

One man loudly protested that as a military veteran and the father of an active-duty U.S. soldier, he felt he could stay. "This is not Russia," he said.

UPDATE: An original post cited the California TV station KXTV report that Brown had initially denied attending the anti-war rally.  Brown campaign spokesman Todd Stenhouse called that part of the KXTV report inaccurate.